ABB’s propulsion solution to power Spanish Navy’s flagship

Equipment provider ABB has secured a contract to retrofit the Spanish Navy’s flagship Juan Carlos I with an electrical propulsion system based on dual ABB Azipod units.

Image Credit: David Acosta Allely/Adobe Stock

As informed, the company signed a contract with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. The contract follows a study undertaken by ABB in 2020 to determine the feasibility of installing new propulsors on the ship. The study identified ABB Azipod as a solution to meet the vessel’s requirements for reliability, efficiency, maneuverability and safety.

“Navantia is proud to make history with the first retrofit of this kind on a naval ship. ABB Azipod propulsion system has proven to be highly effective in ensuring the optimal capacity of our flagship vessel and we look forward to seeing the benefits in operation,” said a Navantia spokesperson.

“We are proud to see our Azipod propulsion system chosen for this project,” said Sindre Satre, Business Line Manager, Coast Guard and Navy, ABB Marine & Ports. “

We already have a long track record with highly efficient solutions on the commercial market and now see that our technologies are becoming increasingly viable also for naval vessels.”

ABB’s scope of supply for Juan Carlos I comprises two Azipod propulsors and medium-voltage drives, with support and maintenance available locally from the ABB service center in Spain.

While the order represents the first retrofit of an ABB Azipod propulsion system aboard a naval vessel, the solution has been maximizing ship performance in the naval patrol segment for several years.

In 2019, the Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker KV Svalbard became the first Azipod-powered vessel to reach the North Pole, where the system’s maneuverability and icebreaking capabilities proved functional.